MA Multilingual and Multicultural Literacy Education

New cohort starting Fall 2024! Application deadline July 1, 2024. 

Apply here to get your CA Reading Specialist Authorization, CA Reading Specialist and Literacy Leadership Credential, or MA in Multilingual and Multicultural Literacy Education!

The Multilingual and Multicultural Literacy Education (MMLE) MA is an online master’s program focused on critical pedagogy and culturally and linguistically sustaining literacy practices. It addresses the California Common Core ELA and ELD Standards, CA Framework, CA Dyslexia Guidelines and other state documents. The program aligns with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing program standards for the Reading and Literacy Leadership Specialist Credential. See our MMLE flyer! [pdf]

This program is designed to enable teachers to meet the literacy needs of all their students through culturally and linguistically sustaining practices. This new program will combine the technical aspects of literacy instruction (e.g., phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, etc.) with multilingual and social justice lenses. Content will be taught through a culturally and linguistically sustaining pedagogy that centers the needs of traditionally marginalized students and builds on the cultural and linguistic wealth that already exists in local school communities. The integration of the technicalities of literacy instruction with the pedagogy to meet the needs of children from diverse backgrounds will enable graduates to meet the varying needs of California’s diverse student population. The Multilingual and Multicultural Literacy Education MA Program will prepare teachers to meet the unique needs of multilingual and historically underserved students. Listen to some of the voices of our program graduates.

Questions?: contact Dr. Allison Briceno at

Program Overview

  • Official Title: Multilingual and Multicultural Literacy, MA
  • Format: Part-time, online, evening and weekends, cohort, year-round
  • Units: 30
  • Start date: August 2024
  • Program length: 2 years / 5 semesters
  • Application window: Closes July 1

Initial Eligibility and Requirements

  • Completion of the CalState Apply application
  • Statement of Purpose:

    In about 2 double-spaced pages, please explain: 

    1. Why you are applying to the Multilingual & Multicultural Literacy MA program and what you hope to get out of it 

    2. What literacy means to you

    3. Your experience teaching literacy, especially to underserved populations such as multilingual students and student with IEPs

    4. Whether you are seeking the Reading Specialist Added Authorization (first 12 units/4 classes) or the Reading and Literacy Leadership Credential (all 30 units) or neither

  • Official transcripts, including B.A./B.S. and teaching credential if the applicant has a credential
  • Resume
  • 2 professional letters of recommendations 
  • GPA Minimum: 2.5 
  • Teaching credential (preliminary or clear) preferred for the MA but required if you are seeking the Reading Specialist and Literacy Leadership authorization or credential

Upcoming Information Sessions

Candidates interested in the MMLE Program should attend an information session to learn helpful information about program options, admission requirements, and the application process. 

Steps to Apply

Step 1 | Begin your Cal State Apply application

Visit to create your SJSU application profile and pay the $70 application fee.

Step 2 | Submit your transcripts

Request one official transcript from each college/university where you studied and have them mailed directly from each college/university to the SJSU Graduate Admissions office at: 

Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations
San Jose State University 
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0017

If the college/university provides official electronic transcripts, the institution can email the transcripts to or Questions pertaining to transcripts, GPA calculations, and application fees should be directed to

Step 3 | Apply to our Teacher Education Department


MMLE Faculty

Allison Briceño, Ph.D.

MA Program Coordinator / Associate Professor

Jolynn Asato, Ph.D.

Sweeney Hall 341 
408 924-3638

David Whitenack, Ph.D.

Sweeney Hall 306 
408 924-3736

Additional Student Resources

For information about financial aid opportunities, internship and job opportunities, research opportunities, and more, visit our Student Resources web page.